No study is ever flawless: A scoping review of common errors in biomedical manuscripts

Account Res. 2022 Aug;29(6):397-414. doi: 10.1080/08989621.2021.1937604. Epub 2021 Jun 26.


We conducted this scoping review of common errors identified by editors and reviewers of biomedical manuscripts. Errors includes items that a reviewer or editor might identify as needing correction. The errors were categorized by section of the manuscript: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References. After screening 87 published studies, 16 papers were selected for data extraction. Of these 16 studies, the most frequently represented disciplines were Medicine (n = 5), Radiology (n = 2), and Psychiatry (n = 2). The most reported common errors included inappropriate study design, inadequate sample size, poor statistical analysis, and unclear and inadequate description of methods. Abstracts not reflecting the content of the paper were the most frequent general common error in biomedical manuscripts. The findings of this study offer one perspective on common errors in biomedical manuscripts and might be a useful guide for novice authors.

Keywords: Peer review; biomedical manuscripts; common errors; scoping review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Peer Review, Research
  • Publications*
  • Research Design*